ANKARA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Online travel agent Booking.com halted its online reservations service in Turkey on Thursday, one day after a Turkish court ruled for the suspension of its activities in the country.
A court in Istanbul ordered the suspension over unfair competition in a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).
The Netherlands-based e-commerce company said it would appeal the court ruling, local Dogan News Agency reported.
The company argued in a statement that it "contributes to healthy competition in the market by offering Turkish consumers a transparent and easy platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world."
Yet the website can be used from foreign countries to make reservations for Turkey hotels.
The decision is expected to hit Turkish tourism, Dogan News Agency said. According to a sector player, Turkey's city hotels take around 35 percent of their reservations via websites, with Booking.com holding a large share.
The Turkish Competition Authority has imposed an administrative fine of 650,000 U.S. dollars on Booking.com on Jan. 11 over similar charge.